If you’re a runner, selecting the right shoe for you is important not only for your comfort but also for your foot and leg health. Unfortunately even the best shoes may not provide the support and comfort your feet need. Many runners who continue to experience foot and leg pain would benefit from custom orthotics in their shoes.
Choose the Right Shoe
It’s not enough to head to your local shoe store and pick up a pair of running shoes. Not all running shoes are right for your feet. If you have challenges supporting your feet properly, it’s best to go to a specialty store or pedorthist to buy your running shoes.
If you have low arches or carry more weight, you may require more stable shoes with motion-control. On the other hand, people with high arches may need more cushion in their shoes. Having your feet assessed by a professional can help you choose a shoe that fits your body’s specific needs.
Do I Need an Orthotic?
When you run your feet absorb forces equivalent to 7-10 times your bodyweight, so even small alignment or functional abnormalities add up very quickly contributing to potential injuries. Custom foot orthotics can help the feet and legs more appropriately distribute and compensate for these forces, reducing the factors that contribute to pain and injury.
As runners, we have all heard about pronation and supination and that different foot types may have different needs. These categories oversimplify the function of the foot and runners may try and treat their own problems based on information that actually may not apply to them. Foot and leg function is much more complicated and runners are wise to seek out a professional who specializes in biomechanics, such as a Canadian Certified Pedorthist, to help to decide whether an orthotic would be beneficial for your specific needs.
Why Choose a Custom Orthotic?
Even with the right shoes, some people experience pain or discomfort during or after running. They may even have tried several shoe inserts to try and alleviate their problems. If this is the case for you, you may need to see a professional to be assessed for custom orthotics.
Custom orthotics are made from a cast taken of your feet after a thorough biomechanical assessment has been done. They are designed specifically for you from materials that are carefully chosen to meet your running needs. Custom orthotics address the specifics of your foot and leg biomechanics, running style and footwear choices.
Benefits of Running with Custom Orthotics
If you do choose to get a custom orthotic for your running shoes, you can expect them to function well for up to 5 years. Runners who wear custom orthotics have reported these benefits:
- May be able to train at a higher level with less pain
- Orthotics may mean the difference between participating and not participating
- Shoes may last longer because the shoe does not distort as quickly
- Fewer blisters and irritations from abnormal shoe wear
- Improved foot function and alignment can reduce stresses to knees, hips and low back
If you’re interested in learning more about whether you need a custom orthotic for running or another sport, book an appointment at one of Walking Mobility Clinics’ locations across Ontario.